Mariners Insider Blog

Burke is back - and that's a good thing

Jamie Burke is back in a Seattle uniform, and while that may or may not make the Mariners a better team – he replaces, temporarily, the hamstrung Kenji Johjima – it's a feel-good move for the team.

Burke is a 37-year-old journeyman catcher with a total of three years and 38 days in the major leagues. You don't need to do the math to know that's a lot of time spent in one minor league city or another trying to get to the bigs.

This spring, Burke was a non-roster invitee who didn't make the team. Youth was served when Rob Johnson was selected to be Johjima's backup. Burke didn't complain, just went to Tacoma and did the best he could there.

Now he's back. For how long doesn't matter – he's good for the pitching staff, good in the clubhouse. And, of couerse, this is good for Burke.

Nicer men are hard to find in baseball or any where else. Burke has worked hard to learn the craft of catching the and the body-ruining tactics over the years. As a result, he can help a young pitcher through a tough inning, assist a veteran during a struggle. On the bench, he can help tutor pitchers and, yes, Johnson.

If the Mariners set him aflame each night, Burke wouldn't complain. He's an Everyman, the guy who wants it bad enough, knows his role on a team and takes nothing for granted.

While he's in uniform, Burke will help the Seattle Mariners. And a man who's chased baseball his entire life will enjoy every moment of it.